Monthly Archives: April 2012

Top ten reasons why being single rocks

(Let’s be real–I had to make this list eventually.)

1. You get the bed–and all the covers–to yourself.  This is kind of a no-brainer, but it’s still a really, really excellent perk.  As someone who has dated many a jock who takes up a lot of space, waking up and not being pressed up against the wall with no room to roll over never loses its novelty.

2. Forget about shaving your legs.  Or, um, anything else you might like to shave.  No one will notice if you take a day–or hell, a week–off.

Why bother?

3. Playing the field.  Dating around gives you the opportunity to meet a ton of different people with different interests, talents, and quirks.  Even though dating can be awkward and get tiring after a while, it can also be fun to put yourself out there.  If nothing else, it’s an excuse to look nice and have something to look forward to.

4. You are Charles.  Remember that awesome tv show Charles in Charge?  You, single lady, are in charge of your own life.  You still have to think about others and their feelings, but ultimately your decisions are in service of you.  Being single brings with it a great sense of freedom.

5. No cringe-worthy introductions.  Since you’re flying solo, you don’t have to go through the painful moments of introducing your significant other to your family and friends.  Your mom doesn’t have the opportunity to show him your ugly baby photos (I’m sure you were a cute baby–but still) and your dad doesn’t have to engage in a sham of male bonding while he tries to scope out whether this dude is good enough for his daughter.  Phew!

6. More time for your gal-pals.  Relationships require love and compromise and blah, blah, blah. Mostly, they require time.  Time that you can instead spend forging great friendships with your girlfriends.  These are the people who stay constant in your life while you’re going through a revolving door of dates.  Just don’t ditch ’em when you finally do find Mr. Right.

We are Woman. Hear us roar.

7. No uncertainty.  You know how at the beginning of a relationship there’s that weird period when you’re still trying to figure out what you are and what you mean to each other?  When you’re single, there’s no ambiguity.

8. You can eat the whole cake.  Why do guys always want to share stuff?  If I ordered this dessert, I’d prefer to eat it by myself, thankyouverymuch.  Get your own!

9. No toilet seat left up, no remnants of his beard clogging your sink.  Need I say more?

10. You can dance authentically to Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies.”  It makes the song that much better.  Now put your hands up!

I totally look just like this when I dance.

Dudes say the darndest things #6

“Can I come over?  I’m not trying to cuddle with my roommate right now.”

Has a dude ever said anything to you that was just darn unbelievable?  Email dudewheresmyboyfriend@gmail.com to have your darndest thing featured on DWMBF.

Despicable me

Didn’t I say that I hate it when dudes who I’ve previously been involved with ignore me?  In the past less-than-24-hours these two things have happened:

1) Yesterday on my way to the coffee shop I saw a guy I went out with a few times, we made eye contact, I took out my obviously un-ringing phone, pressed it against my ear, and said “Hello?” to dead air to avoid an awkward conversation-wave-thing with him.

2) This morning as I was finishing my run at the track I saw a guy I went out with several weeks ago and pretended I was so absorbed in my workout that I wasn’t aware of him, continued to avoid eye contact while I was stretching, and then left as quickly as possible.

You guys!  I am a perpetrator of the very behavior I despise!

It’s difficult to navigate the weird territory of having briefly–very briefly–dated someone.  I want to be friendly, but it’s just so damn awkward.  (I mean, I guess it doesn’t have to be, but it is.)  We went out, and then one/both of us decided that that wasn’t worth doing again.  Now what?

Both of the guys I’ve mentioned are really nice, good people, and I don’t have any hard feelings toward them.  We normally say hello when we run into each other, and our interactions are always perfectly polite.  I appreciate the fact that they’re still willing to acknowledge me, unlike so many other dudes I’ve dated.  But then there are times when the idea of interacting with them suddenly feels like the most. uncomfortable. thing. ever.  I don’t know why this happens, but when it does I find that I can’t bring myself to utter a simple “hey.”  And then I feel like an asshole.

BUT!  Is it really so wrong?  If these had been men that I’d been serious with for a long time, I wouldn’t ignore them.  As I’ve written about before, I don’t think it’s very kind to pretend that people you once had feelings for/were intimate with don’t exist.  However, since these particular guys are at acquaintance/casual friend status with me, am I a terrible person for skipping a passing greeting?  Sometimes I just want to walk across campus without having to engage with love interests gone awry.  So sue me.

Besides, there are very few people I would make a point of saying hi to while wearing my workout clothes.  Trust me, it’s not a pretty sight.

A note on waiting

From an interview with the amazing Jean Valentine in an old issue of The American Poetry Review:

I want to live in today and in this hour and in this moment.  What have I waited for in my life?  I guess I’ve lived too much anywhere but in the present.  I’ve lived in the past and I’ve lived in the hope of the future, living with the thought of getting a book published, or being with the right man, or knowing that my children are happy.  This happens or that happens and then I’ll really have myself, be at home.

I think at one time I was waiting for things from the outside that could only come from the inside.  What am I waiting for now?  [Laughing.] Living in the hope of not waiting for anything.

This one is kind of depressing. But honest! (That counts for something, right?)

My last post was a lie, or at least it has become one.  An unintentional lie, but a lie nonetheless.  When I wrote it I felt it—the happiness, the okay-ness, even the freedom of being single—but those feelings disappeared almost as soon as I hit the “Publish” button on my WordPress dashboard and they have only vanished further since.

I’m not sure exactly what sparked this complete change of heart.  On Friday at happy hour at the only good bar in this one-horse town I saw someone I formerly dated (hooked up with? I don’t know what we were) for some time a few years ago, and even though we passed within several feet of each other several times we mutually ignored each other except for some very, very fleeting eye contact.  On Saturday I saw a more recent heartbreak walking somewhere with a girl, and although I knew walking didn’t necessarily mean anything, I couldn’t stop the thoughts: who was that girl and was that his sweatshirt she was wearing (that looks like his sweatshirt!) and how come he has managed to find someone else while I have not and does he touch her the way he touched me?  And on top of all this, I turned in my thesis last week, and despite the fact that that was a real milestone for me, something I’m proud of, I feel bereft, in a way—like the one thing I have been working on all this time, the one thing I’ve really poured my heart into this year, the one dependable thing, is over.  My project was quite a convenient distraction.  Now there is no excuse, nothing to hide behind when I don’t want to think about all the other stuff.  The other stuff being a lack of other stuff, if you get my drift.

There are lots of different kinds of love.  I know—and I feel—that I have a lot of love in my life.  And yet, I still find myself wanting, time and time again.  Sometimes it’s a physical want, and sometimes, like now, it’s a heaviness, a deepness somewhere, a weight I can’t place but feel just the same.

In some ways, I can’t imagine a man falling in love with me.  I see couples and I can’t fathom being a part of one in a way that feels right (whatever “right” means).  And I can, too, but it often feels impossible, too far away to reach.  Does that make sense?  In high school I hoped I’d find it in college, and now I’m hoping I’ll find it post-graduation.  There’s a lot of hope involved, really.  I’m banking on it not running out before something good comes of it.

State of the (non)union

As a reader of this dating blog, you may be wondering: where is all the dating?

I go on dates!  I swear!  I ask people out, people ask me out—this is a thing that happens!  Just not recently.  Before I started this blog I’d been thinking about starting this blog for a very, very long time, and during that time I had lots of crushes, dates, non-relationships that were still kind of things.  Now I have none of those things.  There’s not even anyone that I’m interested in.  Okay, there are a few guys who I like as vague objects of fantasy, but no one who I really want to pursue.  And because I’m in that weird place of being about to graduate and move somewhere new, any remote feelings I do have immediately send me into a downward spiral of “but what about when I leave?” thoughts.  Although I have been relentlessly hopeful all year that I will somehow meet a great guy who will be worth staying with after my four-year stint here is through, I’m beginning to realize the cold hard truth, which is that that will not be happening.

And, oddly, I feel okay about it.  None of my college relationships panned out the way I wanted them to, and while there’s a definite sense of disappointment that goes along with that, as I’ve read many times on Captain Awkward, every relationship fails until you find the one that doesn’t.  Some might end better than others, but until you find the person you want to be with for the rest of your life—assuming that’s what you’re looking for—they do always end (as romantic relationships, anyway—maybe they continue on as friendships).  What I’m trying to say is that even though things haven’t worked out as planned, that’s because they weren’t supposed to.  I haven’t met the right guy yet, and that is not something that I feel upset about, because I’m only 22 and, to quote Bye Bye Birdie, “I got a lot of livin’ to do.”  (Did I really just quote Bye Bye Birdie?  Yes I did.)

Of course, there are also moments when I don’t feel okay about it, when I think that my dating experiences have been one disaster after another and wonder why the reality of my romantic situation never matches the imagined version, which is so, SO much better.  Every once and a while I can’t help thinking of that part in The Woman Warrior where Maxine Hong Kingston writes: “No husband of mine will say, ‘I could have been a drummer, but I had to think about the wife and kids.  You know how it is.’  Nobody supports me at the expense of his own adventure.  Then I get bitter: no one supports me; I am not loved enough to be supported.  That I am not a burden has to compensate for the sad envy when I look at women loved enough to be supported.”  That’s a tad dramatic, of course, because I am supported, even if not by a lover, but those instances of “sad envy” are real.

I have a lot of practice being single, and it’s practice that I’m grateful for because it has given me a much clearer idea of what I’m looking for.  It’s funny—most of the time when I’m in the midst of a dry spell I feel antsy, aggravated, like I’ll burst if I have to wait another second longer to find a new boy intrigue.  Right now, though, I’m experiencing a calm along with this waiting.  It’s one of those rare times when I don’t feel like I’m in a rush.  There’s even a kind of excitement about it, because of that whole “good things come to those who wait” business.  I can’t help feeling like there are good things on the horizon; I wouldn’t mind, though, if that horizon didn’t seem quite so distant.

Couldn’t have said it better myself

Quote of the week from Woody Allen’s 1996 film Everyone Says I Love You.  Drew Barrymore’s character has just been kissed by a man who recently got out of jail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Him: How was it?

Her: Uh, very interesting.  I’ve never been kissed by a sociopath before.

Dudes say the darndest things #5

“I will do awesome things to you.  Terrible, awesome things to you.”

Has a dude ever said anything to you that was just darn unbelievable?  Email dudewheresmyboyfriend@gmail.com to have your darndest thing featured on DWMBF.

To Bill, with love

As I’ve mentioned, I’m currently completing my undergraduate thesis.  Like a good English major, I’m writing about The Sound and the Fury: memory, motherhood, modernity, and all those other words that begin with “m.”  My (unfortunately desolate) dating life cowers before the long-term, tumultuous passion of my relationship with William Faulkner, with whom I’ve been going steady for the last eleven months.  Yes, things are getting pretty serious between old Bill and I—I’m a little unsure as to what I’ll do when our time together is up in a few weeks.  (Probably spend a lot of time at the bar, let’s be real.)

 

Anyway, as I’ve been working on my final revisions, I’ve been thinking a lot about writing and love—specifically how they are pages out of the same book.  (Heh heh.)  I was only partly joking when I compared my project to a relationship, because it has followed the same basic trajectory as any love affair I would have with a real dude instead of a dead alcoholic author.

Courtship: It all began with a crush.  I admired Faulkner’s novels, his way with words.  I wanted to get to know him better, so I gathered up the courage to write a paper about him during the spring of my sophomore year.  We immediately took to each other, spending long hours in the library gazing at one another until the essay was done.  But then it was time for summer break, and things wouldn’t get serious between us for another year.

Honeymoon Stage: When we decided to see each other exclusively—I vowed that he would be the only writer I would think about for an entire academic year—I experienced a period of elation.  He could do no wrong in my eyes.  His quirks—those long, indecipherable sentences—were adorable, and the times he confused me elicited only laughter.  I started wondering if I should get a Master’s in Literature so that we could be together forever.

Our First Fight: As time went on, though, I realized that that wasn’t what I wanted at all.  This was strictly a senior year fling.  Faulkner’s long sentences were actually pretty freakin’ annoying.  Why couldn’t he just give me the answer I needed?  We went on a break over my winter vacation, hardly speaking to one another.

Compromise: Eventually, we learned to strike a balance.  My life just wasn’t the same without him.  I was determined to make things work, even if just until graduation.  I resolved to spend more time with him, and he promised to go a little easier on me.

The Break Up: It hasn’t happened yet, but soon I’ll turn in my thesis, defend it, and be done.  I’ll miss staying up late at night with him, doing close readings together, all those times in the library.  Yet even though things are going to change, I know I’ll always remember our time together.  For a while I’ll look blankly at my notes and wonder where to go from here.  But somehow, in time, I’ll move on.

See what I mean?  Writing this paper = love.  There you have it.  Clearly I am just a liiiittle overworked.

He's a total hunk, right?

Speaking of excuses…

…sometimes we don’t have to wait for our love interests to come up with them before making them ourselves.

You may recognize me as the face of this blog.